Title ~ Misinformation
Author ~ Keelan Ellis
Publisher ~ Dreamspinner Press
Published ~ 15th June 2016
Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Romance
Ethan Daniels, host of a popular conservative cable news program, has never thought of his bisexuality as a problem, even though he has never acted on his attraction to men. Since his divorce, his desire has become more acute. When he meets Charlie Woods, his daughter’s first grade teacher, they have an instant spark, but Ethan hesitates to act. His contract is up for renewal, there are already rumors swirling about him because of a brief encounter from his past, and the last thing his employers want is for one of their stars to come out publicly.
Charlie avoids romantic entanglements because he prefers living on his own terms. He keeps love and sex completely separate, never seeing anyone more than a few times. Hooking up with a closeted celebrity like Ethan seems safe from emotional involvement, even if they have to keep their fledgling relationship secret.
The last thing they expect is to fall in love, but their strong mutual attraction moves them both to make changes neither of them thought they wanted or needed.
“Misinformation” is not your standard gay romance. Far from it. It’s not very often that one of the lead characters in a relatively hot romance is a conservative talk-show host – a very hot one, but definitely one of the enemy. Don’t get me wrong, he’s not openly homophobic, just conservative. In fact, he’s bisexual, a divorced father whose lust for his own gender seems to have increased logarithmically since exiting his marriage – though, to date, he’s done nothing about it except dream.
He’s not really a committed conservative - and his high-paying job would definitely be on the chopping block if his bosses knew his desires - just a father who needed a job near where his ex-wife relocated with the daughter he dotes on. So what if the political tone of his “performance” is insincere and somewhat soul-destroying – he’s got a great apartment and lots of access to his beloved child.
But what’s a man to do when he finds himself suddenly attracted to a hot, out, first-grade teacher – especially when you take into account that the educator he’s rapidly falling for happens to be his own daughter’s? Well, reconsider, upend, avoid, evade and fall head-over-heels with Charlie, what else?
And that’s exactly what Ethan Daniels does in this inventive and well-written novel by Keelan Ellis.
What I find particularly engaging in “Misinformation” is the missing angst. There are practical considerations to be dealt with, such as keeping a well-paid media job, minor worries about whether sleeping with her favorite teacher might be, in some way, harmful for a young daughter’s psyche (children are always more resilient than we give them credit for , aren’t they?). But there are no soul-shattering, earth-moving fears and compromises to be dealt with. This is a love story, and a gentle one, despite its unusual perspective.
Which came as a nice surprise. Ms. Ellis is a new author to me, but I found myself lost in her authentic and sympathetic characters from the very beginning of the book. Dialogue is entirely believable, settings are vivid, and the pace of the book is to be admired and enjoyed – with the exception of one of those “rolls everything up too soon and too easily” endings that might have been more annoying were the whole book not built on a fairly tame trajectory to begin with.
This is not “War and Peace” or even “Boys in the Band”. It’s just another gentle love story written to bring a little soft sunshine into the reader’s life. When all is said and done, that’s a pretty noble goal, one that is achieved with little doubt, and few missteps, in “Misinformation”.
Meet Keelan Ellis
Keelan Ellis is an east coast girl for life, a progressive, a lover of music and musicians, a mother of two very challenging girls, a loyal though sometimes thoughtless friend, a slacker, a dreamer and a bad influence. She likes true crime podcasts, great television and expensive craft cocktails made by hipsters in silly vests.